A friend and I booked a weekend in Aviemore so that I could tick skiing off my bucket list. The location of the hotel is perfect, being opposite the rail station in the main street and withing walking distance of all the town amenities but you would need transport to the ski slopes which are about 9 miles away. Hotel parking was not a problem and the reception area like the rest of the hotel is welcoming with all things Scottish everywhere ( tartan carpets, suits of armor and pictures of bygone Scottish people). We were able to check in early, our room being on the 2nd floor but alas, and this was honestly the only downside, no lift, so a bit of a trek up the stairs. Not so bad for us, but not so good for the elderly or infirm ( I would be classed as elderly by anyone under 30, but definitely not infirm yet).
The room was small but clean and well presented and had everything we needed. We decided to set about exploring the town and other local hostelries and to discreetly enquire with willing locals as to important matters like nightlife, food and drink. We kept getting the same response that the Cairngorm was the best choice for all of that, which was encouraging.
The bar at the Cairngorm is large and really nice, with a mixture of all ages, locals and visitors alike. The bar staff were very friendly and made us feel welcome and having sampled at least 4 other bars in town we decided to stay there in the evenings. There is live music most evenings and on the Saturday night, the place was packed out due to the popularity of the musicians who were playing that evening. The atmosphere reminded me of a night out in the Temple Bar, Dublin with traditional music played with unbridled frenzy. Busy though it was, there was no pushing or shoving to get a drink and the whole place felt really comfortable. There is a separate restaurant, plus food also available in the bar and outer areas. We elected to eat in the restaurant, and despite being very busy we were found a table promptly. The menu is good and well priced and after having eaten breakfast there earlier, I had no worries about the food.
The speed at which we were served was nothing short of a miracle and the entire service was fantastic. It is really refreshing to go to a restaurant where the food is perfect, the service is exceptional and there is absolutely nothing to complain about- I was really impressed.
We both thoroughly enjoyed our stay and I will return to the Cairngorm but give the skiing a wide berth as infirmity may have begun to set in, or maybe the whiskey seemed a better choice. Incidentally there are a number of nice bars and restaurants around the town, but the Cairngorm suited us just fine with less of a walk in the freezing cold later.
The Cairngorm is great value for money and a really good choice if you are staying in Aviemore or even just passing through en route to even more remoter and colder places further north and you will not be disappointed if you go there, unless you are anti Scottish or don't like their music.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC